Medical Writing Visual Communications The evolution of the scientific poster: From eye-sore to eye-catcher

Volume 29, Issue 1 - Visual Communications

The evolution of the scientific poster: From eye-sore to eye-catcher


Despite the rise of social media, high-speed internet, and teleconference software, conferences seem to be here to stay. But what is their purpose? Networking. So why then do we design conference posters in a way that makes people run away from us? In this article you will learn why a scientific poster should be an eye-catcher and a conversation starter and how to design effective posters with the reader in mind. A poster should be a visual abstract of your research, not a wall-of-text. Beyond the conference, graphical abstracts can be effective tools for broadening the reach of research and are becoming more commonplace in scientific publishing. When it comes to effectively engaging with your audience, it is time to break the status quo. Let us bury the wall-of-text posters and embrace graphical abstracts.

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President's Message
Medical illustration in the 21st century and beyond
Visualisations in science communication: Friend or foe?
How and why it works: The principles and history behind visual communication
Get your (visual) act together: Optimising the design of labels and arrows in medical illustrations
A picture is worth a thousand words
The evolution of the scientific poster: From eye-sore to eye-catcher
Leveraging infographics in study schemas
Enhancing accessibility of study data: The development of a graphical abstract for lay summaries of clinical trial results
Connecting medical writers in Portugal through visual communication
Clinical trial design: Considerations for medical writers developing clinical trial protocols
Planting a “non-biological” seed – will this meme persist?
Regulatory Matters
News from the EMA
Journal Watch
Getting Your Foot in the Door
Veterinary Medical Writing
Good Writing Practice
Medical Writing Humour
Out on our Own


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Editoral Board


Raquel Billiones


Evguenia Alechine

Jonathan Pitt

Managing Editor

Victoria White

Associate Editors

Anuradha Alahari

Jennifer Bell

Nicole Bezuidenhout

Claire Chang

Barbara Grossman

Sarah Milner

John Plant

Sampoorna Rappaz

Amy Whereat

Section Editors

Daniela Kamir


Jennifer Bell


Nicole Bezuidenhout 

Digital Communication

Somsuvro Basu

EMWA News 

Ana Sofia Correia 

Gained in Translation

Ivana Turek

Getting Your Foot in the Door

Wendy Kingdom / Amy Whereat

Good Writing Practice

Alison McIntosh 

In the Bookstores

Maria Kołtowska-Häggström

Lingua Franca and Beyond

Maddy Dyer


Lisa Chamberlain-James

Medical Communications/Writing for Patients

Payal Bhatia

Medical Devices

Evguenia Alechine

My First Medical Writing

Anuradha Alahari

News from the EMA

Adriana Rocha


Tiziana von Bruchhausen


Clare ChangZuo Yen Lee 

Regulatory Matters

Sam Hamilton

Regulatory Public Disclosure

Claire Gudex

Teaching Medical Writing

Louisa Ludwig-Begall / Sarah Kabani

The Crofter: Sustainable Communications

Louisa Marcombes

Veterinary Writing

Editors Emeritus

Elise Langdon-Neuner

Phil Leventhal

Layout Designer

Chris Monk